Culture and Globalization

Sep 07

In your own words, briefly summarize how the authors depict globalization, and what they mean by interactions and networks (Chapters I and II). Then, discuss one example from Chapter III and one from Chapter IV that illustrate globalization in terms of interactions and networks.

Your response must be at least 300 words, and is due by 1pm, Wednesday, September 12. For further helpful information on writing a successful response, please visit the Discussion Prompts page of our site.

59 comments so far

  1. btaborga
    9:48 pm - 9-11-2012

    The authors Osterhammel and Peterson had many views of globalization and possible answers to the true meaning of globalization. They say that globalization is a term that can explain today’s world; globalization can give us a name for the times in which we live. It summarizes a wide spectrum of experiences shared by many people. This basically means that globalization is an answer to many questions we might have about modern culture, economics or politics. They also say that the world is becoming “smaller as distant lands are becoming noticeably smaller, lands are linked even more.” This just shows that now a day’s China is connected to countries in South America and in North America almost every day. Many years ago there was no such connection, or as big as it is now. However, now days you can take a plane and in eight hours you will be in South America learning about a different culture. The authors say that wealthy people are the ones who enjoy globalization the most because they have the entire world at their doorstep thanks to modern forms of consumption and communication. I believe this is true since many wealth corporations have found cheap labor in foreign countries that have made them richer. However I also believe globalization favored locals by creating jobs that wouldn’t have existed if not for these corporations. Other authors like David Harvey say globalization is a fundamental change of the categories of time and space; he calls this “space time”. Manuel Castells describes globalization as “the emergence of a network society” This means that now days we have computers, internet, phones that have made it easy for us to organize flexible social relations independent of territories. What these authors mean by interactions and networks is first, that networks are nothing new, not every social transaction between more than two people should be immediately considered a network. Networks gain greater stability through institutions that are often the result of political will such as diplomatic alliance or an international trade agreement. When we talk about networks distant lands become increasingly important in the lives of certain groups of people because we are all connected. Interactions have an organizing principle, which in my opinion is to get people together for a common goal or for similar interests. Some examples of interactions I found while reading chapter three is the interaction the Spanish had during the colonization era in the 16th century. They interacted with the new world by bringing a new religion, new diseases, animals, crops. They also took crops native to the Americas back to Spain. This is a form of interaction between two different cultures. Also, In chapter four they have another similar example, but a more recent one. This is the fight among the strong nations during the Cold War, and a time of imperialism. Many countries like the United States and Russia were trying to spread their influence around the world in the 1950’s and we see still see it today as well. They have tried to establish democracy and communism in these countries. They fought an indirect war to influence these small countries to take a certain point of view and to adopt one of the super powers political view. This also helped spread many American products in these countries like Coca cola which was a symbol of “freedom and democracy”. These are a couple of the many examples provided by the authors, but certainly the two that I think capture global interactions really well.

    • tmarchan
      5:06 pm - 9-13-2012

      I think what you wrote about globalization being an answer to many questions we might have about modern culture, economics or politics is very important, because ideas on all of these topics are spreading because of globalization.

  2. saehwan72
    10:30 pm - 9-11-2012

    The authors depict globalization in many different ways throughout the first two chapters. The authors state that the definition of the word globalization is so vague that it’s at risk of being used to justify arguments without having to go into detail. They define globalization as a series of concepts such as hybridity, which is the result of new cultural ideas/norms being adapted to mix with preexisting ones. There are too many facets that make globalization a vague term. Is globalization the spread of ideas with the use of new found technology or is it a preexisting concept found through trade and economics? One interesting question brought up by the authors is, when did globalization really begin? The spread of economic systems have gone as far back as the mid 1700’s. Stretching back to industrialization and colonization periods in history, the ideas were spread between nations and continents to better their respective societies. “As historians, we would therefore be naïve to ask “when globalization began” or “whether globalization existed in the eighteenth century.” The first thing we need to do is establish our own concept of “globalization,” one that avoids both pedantry and excessive vagueness.” Interactions are the actual act that triggers globalization, while networks are what allow the interactions to take place. One example of globalization in terms of interactions and networks is the spread of religion. The book states religions such as Roman Catholicism spread to different areas of the world through interactions held by merchants and soldiers. The networks really opened up due to war and trade. Chapter 4 shows that industrialization began in Great Britain and later spread to the U.S. The industrial revolution doesn’t take place if there aren’t interactions between these two countries. The idea and the methods of industrialization were spread through networks that led to the industrial revolution and all the effects it had on the U.S. economy from that point on.

    • sarahariri
      12:48 pm - 9-14-2012

      I like how you brought up the religion example. It is vital to understand that globalization does not just spread products, but ideologies as well. Religion can directly affect the society it is introduced to as well. Great example of globalization and culture.

  3. hsingh4
    10:44 pm - 9-11-2012

    The authors describe the word “Globalization” as a wide spectrum of experiences shared by many people. They also state that globalization appears as the result of processes that have been evolving for a long period of time. In their view, globalization is an open process that substantially transforms human institutions. They also describe 2 distinct opinion of globalization. On one end of the spectrum of opinion are the positions held by globalization enthusiasts and opponents, respectively. The former welcome globalization as the beginning of a new era of growth, while the latter see it as the emergence of global domination by big businesses originating from Western countries.
    The books also talks about networks, and how the concept of networks will be one of the most important used in the book. The authors stats that the concept of networks is nothing new, as it has been around since the early twentieth century. Economists during that time period were describing the world economy as a tightly interwoven global network. This network consisted of numerous intertwined “threads” linking each individual business operation. They also point out that not every social transaction between more than two people should immediately be considered a network. Spanish Sociologist Manuel Castells says that a network requires a certain degree of longevity and that only with the advent of new information technology have we gained the means necessary to develop networks with stability.
    In chapter 3, the authors discuss how Europeans integrated themselves into the existing networks of trade and commerce in Asia. However their arrival in the Western Hemisphere followed of forced integration. Their interactions with the native peoples of America was labeled “white man’s politics”. European settlers brought with them their customs and institutions, and founded neo-European societies. The Europeans also brought with them germs of infectious disease against which the indigenous population had no immunity. At this same time, the Old World profited from the wealth of biological diversity in the Americas and talents of its original inhabitants.
    In chapter 4, the authors talk about how factories were using steam engines and mechanization to produce consumer goods. One important factor in establishing networks was the mass production of mechanized equipment and machinery. The use of steamships drastically reduced the transportation cost of long-distance trade for mass goods and products of heavy industry. This allowed global trade networks to be used extensively to help relations.

    • ksalvucc
      10:34 am - 9-12-2012

      I thought the example that you got from chapter 4 was very interesting. I definitely agree with this example, because the development of what factories were using, really did help with global trade networks, and how that ultimately improved relations.

    • rafae309
      2:28 pm - 9-14-2012

      Mass productions of mechanized machinery and equipment was definitely a very strong factor in establishing networks. The creation of the steam engine enabled more long-distance trade and created stronger networks throughout the globe.Your example from chapter 3 about one civilization benefiting from the indigenous people was also very interesting.

  4. msirico
    10:53 pm - 9-11-2012

    Globalization is a continuous process in which the world “grows smaller.” This process, actually a massive grouping of interconnecting processes, links cultures and peoples together. Many differing forms of globalization, such as migration, technological advances, and the spread of religions etc., occurred all throughout the world, bringing change.
    The authors of “Globalization,” use two terms to define different aspects of globalization, interactions and networks. Interactions are on the smaller scale: various instances of cultures and peoples communicating in small instances, but not as a whole. These interactions later grow into networks. networks require time and technological advancements in order to stabilize. networks grew and stabilized with the assistance of political systems.
    From Chapter III- Early interactions between European explorers and North America led to the spread of goods. new foods were introduced to Europe, such as tomatoes and potatoes, while horses as well as diseases, were introduced to the Americas. These beginnings led to the spread of trade systems between europe, africa and the americas. the new crops introduced flourished so well they changed whole economic systems.
    From Chapter IV- The industrial revolution didn’t spread quickly. it came and went in busts, centered around Britain. but after this boom, products and technologies spread throughout the newly interconnected networks of the known world. firearms reached as far as Asia, and the invention of the steamboat allowed a quicker spread of goods around the world. transatlantic steamboats allowed mass transport of people, and great railways brought technology to distant lands, such as India.

    • ksalvucc
      10:25 am - 9-12-2012

      I found the example of the early interaction between the European explorers and North America interesting. I never really knew about the new foods that were spread to Europe.

    • shill10
      6:59 pm - 9-13-2012

      I really like your post. It was clear and to the point. I thought a good example that was discussed in class about networking was the idea of a map of Earth at night. That picture shows how globalization occurs without the presence of boarders and the lights on the map show the networks that are formed through energy use. Korea for example is fairly dark and that shows that it does not have much networking going on.

    • rgomez5
      12:10 am - 9-16-2012

      I found the description of the word “grows smaller” very interesting, and I think the phrase of growing smaller is very accurate description of how fast and easy people can communicate today compared against to couple of years in the past.

  5. jhanse10
    11:56 pm - 9-11-2012

    The authors Jurgen Osterhammel and Neils Petersson have various ways they find fitting for the term “Globalization” to be defined. The term itself is incredibly vague. “Globalization” encompasses many experiences and different opinions shared by various groups of people. These experiences often fall in one of the following categories: social, economic, political or cultural. Globalization connects people all across the world and aids in the exchange of cultures, goods and people made possible through technology and immigration. Globalization is a concept that is not contained to one strict explanation/definition or seen the same way by all. For example, the reading mentions the difference in interpretation of globalization from the wealthy than the poor. Some view globalization as a positive thing, as a new global connectedness with endless opportunities of growth, while others view it as a way that Western cultures force their views on less developed countries and become dominate. A shared viewpoint however is that, the world is getting smaller and closely linked as globalization furthers through networks and interactions. A question that is often brought forth, questions whether globalization is a new phenomena or a notion that started and has continued since the beginning of time. Is there a correct answer to this question? Who knows? We can see evidence that suggest globalization in history that is defined or explained in different term.
    Interactions, which support globalization, are common everyday exchanges and contacts that happen between cultures. This has been made extremely easy through modern technological advances. These interactions usually happen with people who have a common goal. The spread of the Catholic religion is a perfect example of results from interactions. Catholicism has spread by word of mouth and practice from natives to soldiers who bring it back to their lands. Interactions are more surface level where networks take a bit more time to be established. Chapter three brings to light the beginning interactions with Europeans and early Native Americans. Through these simple interactions, networks of trade routes began connecting early North America to the rest of the world. Another example of networks that can be drawn from chapter four is the use of mechanical equipment in factories to produce consumer goods. Raw materials to make these goods and the people who actually make them are networked together because they our not geologically in the same location. Globalization is not a thing that will be understood in one lesson or even understood in the same way universally. We can only continue research to come closer and discover new advantages of why globalization is so important.

    • vorozhko
      11:52 am - 9-14-2012

      Globalization is an expansive term that encompasses numerous points of relativity, be it economic, social, cultural and/political, and its subsets of understanding. It is daft to view globalization as monolith, one size fits all, as it molds to each of us very differently.

  6. jnewman4
    12:19 am - 9-12-2012

    The author repeatedly states that the term “globalization” is vaguely used between historians and theorists. It is described as a historical process that offers “a wide spectrum of experiences shared by many people”, whether the experience is one of prosperity or detriment. The increased speed of communication through globalization gives birth to the term “deterritorialization”, the dissolution of borders. This is where the idea of homogeneity comes to play. At first, global homogeneity was thought to be the outcome, with the spread of Western influence tainting tradition. However, counter arguments have emerged promoting a “hybridity” (a cultural change through globalization).
    Interactions and networks are the connections between communities, and communities and their environments. They are created through various occurrences, such as: Military campaigns, trading, and advancements in communication. Over time, networks began as coerced integration and then developed into a more practical use of resources spanning around the globe. In primal stages, networks were considered weak because the destruction of one empire did not have the same effect on another. For example in today’s economy, when one market dives into a recession, so do the connecting markets.
    One example of said networking is the establishment of trading posts in the Asian empires by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. They covered Asian coasts without actually establishing Asian colonies. There was also the exportation of certain commodities that helped link long-distance civilizations. A second would be the periods of migration in the nineteenth century. Millions of people left their homelands and settled into foreign lands. This phenomena created connections between countries due, in-part, to the relationships migrators preserved in their homelands. These travelers also offered labor, goods from their homelands, and established businesses; all of which was stimulating to the growing global markets.

    • saehwan72
      8:05 pm - 9-13-2012

      I agree your response, I too thought “hybridity” plays a big role in globalization. How it’s a mix of old and new customs to create its very own unique culture. You brought up a unique example of networks through migration. However I would argue that migration led to a disconnectedness.

  7. vorozhko
    1:27 am - 9-12-2012

    Osterhammel and Petersson view “globalization” as an ever evolving and vast concept that attempts to provide “us a name for the times in which we live,” and condense “a wide spectrum of experiences shared by many people.” (2) They consent the essence of “globalization” lies as the world shrinks while expanding in its integration (3). Similarly, as the authors aim to zone in their description of globalization, the more interminable the feat becomes.

    As historians, they want to try and rank “globalization” as a major historical process that took a long time to develop (and is developing), boundless in its intensity, and is “a force of change seldom found in earlier, premodern history” (4). It would serve as a refuge for every known global human integration (5).

    This integrating human development is encompassed within networks, and its interaction spheres that form them. Interactions are described as “intertwining threads” that form communication between individuals and groups, withholding they have acquired “a certain degree of longevity and institutional reinforcement” (22). They must be sufficiently organized to establish a hierarchy where economical, political, and social ways of life can converge (23) These “transactions” bury national borders, akin to a view of “Earth by Night,” where energy consumption is visible by concentrated human population (23). “Range and importance,” “intensity and speed of contact,” are how the authors distinct various interactions (25). A network is created when the “transactions” are established and have met the above criterium.

    Religious ecumenes were, cultural, political and social interactions that formalized, networks for early and modern human civilizations. Belief and self-identity within a higher entity transcends all physical boundaries. A true believer must above all answer not to their parents, not to their state, but to their god. When a said belief is organized among a spectrum of people, as it is carried through war or trade, it cannot be contained within a certain geographical border. It was the engine behind the Roman Catholic Empire and its undoing, as it failed to rival other religious networks.

    As a result of colonization and trade enforced by the Western world, spearheaded mainly by the British Empire, was the establishment of a printed news agency. The first to be created in London, of course, in 1851. At the outset, such an organization was able to communicate, through the geographical tentacles of its empire, current foreign affairs to any person in the world. These correspondences, or interactions, created a media network for global news. Wars were finally documented. Such affairs that deemed to be so far away on a geographical and political scale, were now present and coherent on a spreadsheet right in front of you.

    (Osterhammel and Petersson describe political ideologies of liberalism and Marxism as “grand designs” that organized its cohorts to believe in a diminished role of nation-states that gave life to their respective utopias (69). Did the notion of free market liberalism establish an unregulated world market? Did the proletariat unite and coexist, without the state, as an equal, organized workforce? No, but their ideals facilitated massive networks that attempted to, and later surely weakened, at least began to restructure, the role of states.)

    • shill10
      7:06 pm - 9-13-2012

      I think that it is interesting that this book was written by historians trying to put a date on globalization. In my opinion, globalization began during the first human interactions between people of differing cultures. Therefore it started long long ago when humans crossed the land bring to the Americas. It continued through the trading of goods after ships were built. It seems silly to try to put a date on it. I feel like they are focusing on something that doesn’t even matter.

      I also agree with your definitions of the difference between interactions and networks.

      • ender91
        10:59 pm - 9-13-2012

        I think its interesting that historians try to find a specific date on it too. For me I don’t think there’s ever one exact date or era where it began because I think tendrils of globalization have begun to appear since first human interactions like you too even though those interactions aren’t as complex as what we have today.

    • rgomez5
      12:13 am - 9-16-2012

      Yes the idea of globalization as experiences shared by many people sounds like an accurate description, at the end that exchange and interaction of ideas is what makes the globalization process so interesting.

  8. albuquerque
    5:07 am - 9-12-2012

    Globalization, as essentially defined by the book Globalization: a Short History, is a set of processes that in individual ways and varying paces affect large groups of people. According to the book globalization qualifies to be placed among the other macro processes of the modern world. The term and much of the debate and theories surrounding it focus on attempting to deconstruct reasons why and how the modern world has developed in the way and speed that it has. It is noted in the book that globalization should not be seen as the main focus of global development though it is a strong force behind it.
    The book defines the terms interactions and networks as being both separate yet intertwined with one another. An interaction is more of a short term, unstable relationship between two or more parties. It can either be positive or negative, and is often the starting point of many networks. Networks are characterized as being more long term and stable as compared to simple interactions, they are also more often a mutually beneficial relationship. Though it is also said that networks are still not an entirely stable and reliable form of social organization, through recent years technological advances it is becoming part of the fundamental structures for current politics and economics.
    A fairly colloquial example used in chapter 3 to explain globalization in terms of interactions and networks is the silk trading between China and the Mediterranean region. At some point there was an interaction between the two regions and either one of both realized the opportunity for economic growth that the other would provide and thus the interaction continued forming eventually a network. This network grew further and later lead to the creation of the infamous Silk Road trade route that eventually expanded into northern Africa and western areas of Europe.
    In chapter 4 another common example is used, depicting the more negative side of the shift from simple interactions to massive global networks. The great depression was the first strong proof that these networks were real and strongly knit together. When the market fell in one area it caused the prices of food to fall across the world. This proved that through globalization or the intensification of international interactions into global networks, the relationships between nations had evolved to a point where they were dependant in some ways on one another that they previously had not been.

    • btaborga
      8:41 pm - 9-12-2012

      I found your example on the Great Depression great! It is proof (as you say) that nations were connected by then. That countries depended on each other economically. I guess this is the first time the world realized that what happens in the USA can affect Europe and the other continents. We even see it today with the current economic crisis we face. Other nations economies depend on the US economy and if the USA fails, then they fail. It is a great point you brought up.

    • tmarchan
      5:31 pm - 9-13-2012

      I like the example you found on chapter 4 on interactions and networks between China and the Mediterranean region, it gave me a more clear understanding on the terms.

    • saehwan72
      8:24 pm - 9-13-2012

      I thought the book was awfully vague when it came to defining the word globalization. I was able to better grasp the term when I read your own. Your comment on the great depression perfectly reflects the discussion we had on the impact of a world economy.

    • jhanse10
      10:02 am - 9-14-2012

      The example you found to back up what you were saying were great! It gave me a clear connection of the reading with real world events. Great job finding perfect yet simple examples.(:

    • ngibson3
      12:08 pm - 9-14-2012

      Hey! Great job. I thought your destination between an interaction and a network was spot on, it definitely furthered by understanding of the concepts. It was also great how you used you two examples from chapter 3 & 4 to include a positive and negative example of globalization.

    • msirico
      2:49 pm - 9-14-2012

      Your definitions of interactions and networks are most definitely on point. I agree with your statement that interactions are more on the short term level and can be unstable, whereas networks are more defined, permanent, and mutually beneficial. I especially believe that interactions are the ‘predecessors’ to networks. true, long-lasting networks can only be formed from groupings of interactions over the years.

    • njelvani
      11:16 am - 9-19-2012

      This is very well stated and and defined.

  9. Kathy
    8:57 am - 9-12-2012

    In the first few classes I was getting frustrated at my inability to have someone provide me with a cut and dried definition of globalization. After reading the first few chapters of this book, I understand why that did not happen. If the authors themselves cannot come to an agreement of how to best describe globalization, what chance did I have? Fortunately, they both agree that is it a contradiction of terms.On page 3 they state that “On one hand, our world is becoming noticeably smaller as distant lands are being linked more closely. At the same time the world seems larger because our horizons have never been so broad”. The authors have synthesized their description of globalization into two ways of looking at it. One describes it as a process made up of many interactions. It has a functioning world market, free world trade, easy movement of capital, multi-national corporations, and a world currency. The other way of describing globalization is world wide networking where people of nations across the world can interact in “real time”, further condensing the world into a global society. Computers are a basis for this and serve as a way for all nationalities to interact, effectually erasing borders of international relations. In Chap. 3, they described different spheres of interaction. Some interactions were just fleeting touches and didn’t affect the empires/people/culture enough to make a difference. Others made huge impacts. One such sphere was that of the African slave trade. The shipment of the “mass commodity” of African people to provide for the Oriental, Islamic and American slave trades developed into a strong network between them. These trade routes provided prolonged and constant contact and interaction. Chapter Four touched on the Industrial Revolution. in particular, it mentioned the effect it had on arms production. Factories allowed weapons to be made speedily which made them more readily available. But the heavier munitions were expensive and only the wealthier nations could afford those.This armament advantage provided the “superpowers” a better chance of winning the conflicts they were engaged in, furthering their land acquisitions and/or dominion over smaller countries. This shows the interaction between the Industrial Revolution sphere with those of politics as well as geography.

    • jhanse10
      3:14 pm - 9-12-2012

      I felt the exact same about finding a way to define Globalization last year in my global 101 class. Since I am a global affairs major, people would always ask what exactly my major meant and I had no idea how to explain globalization so it made sense. I am glad I was not the only one looking for a clear cut definition at first.

    • shusain
      11:44 pm - 9-13-2012

      I agree completely that there is no set definition of what Globalization actually is. In the first chapter the authors gave so many examples! I think the world is becoming smaller because there are so many advances in communication and technology. I like how you tied everything from the Industrial Revolution to geography at the end of your post because you brought together all the different aspects of what globalization is at the end of the day.

  10. shusain
    9:25 am - 9-12-2012

    The term “globalization,” can be defined in many different ways. Osterhammel and Petersson seem to associate the term largely with culture. Globalization is essentially “influenced” by culture through different interactions of music, beliefs, education, behavior, language, food, etc. The term can be associated with the experiences shared by people from diverse areas of the world. In chapter 1, the authors state that, “the world is becoming noticeably “smaller,” (pg 3). In a way I agree, because I feel the use of technology and the different forms available for communication are bringing societies from various parts of the world closer together. Chapter 2 does a great job of describing globalization in terms of networks. The concept of networks is vaguely described as an individual business operation that deals with millions of other businesses. Networks need durability and institutional emphasize, instead of just being a social transaction between a number of people. Moving on, chapter 3 takes us through history of the Middle Ages. Throughout this chapter there are many different examples that show how globalization influenced that period in history. A great example which involves both culture and involvements of networks would be during the early modern period with the European civilization. In the book it states that the European civilization happened to be the only one that sent travelers to assorted parts worldwide to gather information about,” languages, religions, customs, and political orders of other countries,” (pg 52). This worked in their benefit because not only were they well educated of the different societies; they used that information to rule their colonies. The Europeans were essentially the only people who traveled to foreign lands and were able to receive a sense of cultural interaction. In a way, they created their own “social” network that was largely based on learning and interacting with different cultures, yet they were more powerful than the colonies they studied. Another example of globalization in dealing with interactions can be seen in chapter 4 with the invention of the telegraph. By 1880, a simple telegraph could be sent from London to almost any place within the whole British Empire. The creation of the telegraph actually increased how news traveled between Europe and the United States, “by a factor of ten thousand,” (pg 69). Communication from one place to another became easier. Telegraphs actually increased developments in the financial and production market. International agreements were able to take place, as well as the establishment of a modern mail service occurring in other countries.

    • vorozhko
      12:01 pm - 9-14-2012

      The immediate connection of information enabled by the telegraph must have seen remarkable at its inception. A humble start to the information technology we all enjoy today.

    • msirico
      2:53 pm - 9-14-2012

      Osterhammel and Petersson claim that globalization did not/could not develop until there were the beginnings of a true world economy. interactions and networks already existed, but networks on the global scale did not develop until trading was possible around the world. technology is a major factor in this as well; great advancements being needed to boost international/intercontinental trading.

  11. ksalvucc
    10:18 am - 9-12-2012

    Globalization is a term that has become very popular to describe how everyone in the world lives nowadays. The authors describe that the term is often used to describe the world today as one that has become both smaller because all the countries across the globe both far and near to each other are now able to be connected together while at the same time the term also describes the world as having become larger through the opportunities that this connectedness has given everyone in the world. The authors state that there are multiple definitions for the term globalization, but there seems to be a consensus on a couple of meanings. The first is that globalization tests the significance of the nation-state and changes the balance of power between states and markets in preference of markets. The second is that globalization affects everything related to the category of things that fall under what we refer to as “culture.”
    The authors suggest that an appropriate way to analyze the history of globalization would be to examine it at the level of individual interaction rather than concentrating on the world as a whole. One of the concepts that is key to this approach of studying interactions between individuals and groups is the notion of “networks.” An example of this concept is in how economists in the early twentieth century described the world economy as a tightly woven global “network” that was especially intense in Europe. The authors go on to explain that not every interaction between multiple people should be considered a network because the concept of a network requires that the interactions have a certain level of “longevity and institutional reinforcement” for them to evolve into a “network.” The authors describe that these interaction networks rarely spread evenly around the world, but rather concentrate into “interaction spheres” which are partly defined by the natural environment and could span entire continents and oceans. The authors point out that the network concept has a disadvantage in that it “tends to trivialize societal processes, to flatten hierarchies and power differences, and to overlook the varying depth and intensity of relationships.”
    There are many examples that illustrate globalization in terms of interactions and networks. One form of integration in an interaction network is the consolidation of smaller units into an empire based on religion. An example of this form of integration is given in Chapter III in terms of the spread of Islam. Around 200 years after the founding of Islam, there was a large area of the world under the stable rule of a Muslim military aristocracy even though there was a lot of political fragmentation across this area. Many other types of examples can be found in chapter IV. For example, the authors point out how the Industrial Revolution which started in England around 1760 resulted in many interaction networks. For example, during the early modern period the Europeans were able to take control of the world’s seas which resulted in an early form of “world politics” that included world-wide dominion of the seas, extensive intervention force, and the world’s most lucrative colonies.

  12. emyers
    10:30 am - 9-12-2012

    Based on the reading, globalization can be defined as a diverse reciprocal market facilitated by advances in technology and freedom from the state, but relies on the cooperation and interaction between nation leaders and civilians around the world. The explanation of interactions by John Burton I think is the best description, he uses the term cobweb model. We are connected by how we engage ourselves with other people, our neighbors or those across the globe, whether it be for business or pleasure connected by relationships and commonalities, regardless to the lines drawn on a map that divide us. Through these interactions, we create larger networks that are so linked and interconnected that their future decisions and actions depend on each other in what has become a global economy, society, what have you, but overall a global sphere which has proven to have both positive and negative effects.
    Overtime, empires, small nation states, alliances, religions, political/militia groups have gotten together in war and peace in a cycle of discovery, establishment, expansion, and defeat, but have always relied on each other for trade, new ideas, and resources. There are countless examples in Chapter 3 of networks and interactions beginning with the Prophet Muhammad and the creation of Islam,and the idea of Christianity clashing, uniting and then fighting to be taken over by large military rulers who formed empires and facilitated long distance trade between each other incorporating the minorities as well to do the middle man work. They then formed networks that came together because of geographical location (France, England, Spain) realizing the advantages of working together and when Portugal opened its doors to trading with Asia, a new international network was established. Common goods began to be traded (firearms) which were used again to break up some of the networks that were created (Constantinople, Sultan of Delhi, Mexico) but also expanded the conquering forces arena. Things continued to change with new discoveries (America, Australia) that opened up a new playing field of land, crops, disease, resources, etc…
    Much of what happened seems similar to the globalization of today. Humans are always coming up with new ideas and discoveries that change the way we think and act whether it be technological advances, political theories or religous thoughts, but one thing remains the same is we will always rely on each other in some way or another. New interactions between people happen everyday and networks are created according to how the interactions effect each other.
    In Chapter 4, it talks about the interactions between European powers and the rest of the world, conquering the seas and creating networks of trade through the power of the navy and opened up a new industry of ship building. Unfortunately the world took a turn of struggles for power, which seems similar to the world today in many places like the Middle East and Northern Africa. Hopefully one day we can all see the world like John Burton portrayed in his map of human interaction that is irrelevant to the border lines, because we can fight over where we live or what surrounds us but ultimately we are all here to serve each other.

    • ngibson3
      12:15 pm - 9-14-2012

      I completely agree with you in that the Cobweb model by John Burton, is the best description of globalization. It’s just such a strong/ multi-dimensional analogy.

  13. tmarchan
    11:04 am - 9-12-2012

    The authors depict globalization as the world becoming noticeably “smaller” as distant lands are being linked ever more closely together. At the same time the world is becoming “larger” because our horizons have never been so broad. Ideas on culture, politics, religion and economics are spreading faster across the globe because of technology and interactions across the globe. There is much debate on the term, globalization, some say it is a new phenomenon while others say it can be traced to early modern period. Two aspects of globalization are: networks and interactions. Economist in the twentieth century were describing the world economy as a tightly interwoven network that featured innumerable “threads” linking “each individual business operation with thousands of other businesses. Interactions over time become networks. The authors also note that by repeating an interaction at regular times, participants can create a tight network. In chapter III an example of interactions and networks is the Europeans in the Americas. The Europeans brought to the Americas their customs and institutions, languages and religions, and founded neo-European off shoot societies. The Europeans also brought with them infectious disease (Smallpox). Europe profited from the Americas, they brought back to Europe new crops—Corn and potatoes, this later spread to Asia because of trade. An example of interactions and networks in chapter IV is the industrial revolution that began in Britain and gradually and unevenly made its way around the world. One of the important productions of the industrial revolution was the industrialization of transportation. Railway transportations served only local regional purposes in Europe. After the industrial revolution railway transportation made its way to non- European countries, mainly Argentina, India, and Japan. The building of railroads led to more tourism and group excursions in areas that at one time were not accessible outside world.

    • kmilburn1957
      6:35 pm - 9-13-2012

      I especially appreciated your description of the business network being made of many threads between companies, eventually creating a network. It paints a good visual image for me to understand the concept of world economies. Your discussion of the Industrial Revolution is clearly explained and simplified the dry textbook for me. So, Thanks!

    • sarahariri
      12:58 pm - 9-14-2012

      I like how you described the repercussions of globalization. Globalization can also have negative, unintended consequences such as the spread of infectious disease.

    • rafae309
      2:18 pm - 9-14-2012

      I liked your examples of customs, religions, languages and religions being brought over to America by the Europeans. Your example of the railroad system spreading out to non-Western countries was also very clear cut and effective. The increase in tourism and trade as part of the railroads spreading to Argentina, India, and Japan was very helpful in creating stronger networks.

  14. sarahariri
    11:29 am - 9-12-2012

    “Globalization” is a term that is vital in describing how the modern world works. It is useful as a concept because it covers both the economic and cultural aspects of our present society. It is economic because it is most often used to describe the selling of products. It can also be cultural because it can involve selling of typically “western” merchandise in the “eastern” regions of the world. Or, as we discussed last week, we can be exposed to a society that is much different than ours due to the globalizing effect of social networking. Globalization can also be linked to imperialism because imperialism is usually refers to a hegemonic state that overpowers, and therefore influences, a smaller state. For example, the globalization of American culture reaching France in the form of “Starbucks” caused controversy because the mammoth-sized proportions were contradictory to typical French portions. Globalization can be linked to colonialism because it can cause a large enough change in the culture it affects, which can eventually blur the lines between indigenous culture and influenced culture. The world economy would take globalization into account as a new economic step. For example, according to the text, a world economy would create a dense economic network in Europe. Many companies today are becoming worldwide chains (examples include; Starbucks, McDonalds, and H&M). These worldwide chains are influencing the world economy by encouraging globalization to flourish. This not only includes economic change, but cultural change as well. Along with new companies brings new concepts (extra-large sized coffees in France, Drive-Thru’s in China) which is exposing an era of global culture shock.

    • shusain
      11:35 pm - 9-13-2012

      I like how you compared globalization to imperialism because it does make sense. Also, you brought up a lot of good examples, especially how you said companies today are becoming worldwide chains. The cultural aspect of those companies is they are taking an idea and making it their own. That goes back to the example you said, that there was controversy in France over the sizes for coffee. The portions are different, but the company of Starbucks is still the same.

      • emyers
        10:31 am - 9-14-2012

        I like all the examples you provided, it helped me better understand the concepts. I also like what you said about the companies becoming worldwide chains, do you think big companies are becoming the main driving forces of our markets and even affecting our social and political realms as well?

  15. ender91
    11:34 am - 9-12-2012

    According to the authors, globalization does not have just one simple meaning but is an evolving process with many dimensions or aspects to it. Globalization did not have a clear start but came into existence gradually but not necessarily continuously. The authors have also stated that they do not dismiss other historians but instead their aim was to show a new perspective to history through the viewpoint of globalization. They introduce four characteristics of globalization. First is that globalization has taken away a part of the nation-states’ power in that governments are not the only ones with the ability to connect internationally anymore. Another characteristic is cultural globalization where culture influences globalization but on the other hand, globalization also affects culture. Another aspect of globalization the authors mention is “space-time compression.” Technology has made communication easier and faster. Now distances and borders are no longer detrimental to communication. Lastly, globalization is a recent phenomenon but it has been slowly developing in history.

    Interactions and networks are how the authors examine globalization “from below.” They analyze globalization through the interactions of groups and individuals, in other words through people instead of “from above” which are civilizations and countries, that can become networks. One example of interactions and networks that the authors talk about is with religion in chapter three. Religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc. have spread beyond territorial and governmental borders and have in some way connected different groups of people. However the authors say that its not the religion itself that made a strong connection but the “gravitation toward holy centers or pilgrimages” and the commitment to the duties and rituals that people everywhere of the same religion practices. In chapter four, the authors talk about the Industrial Revolution. It began in England but it came about through the global market and through it followed industrialization through other frameworks.

    • kmilburn1957
      6:45 pm - 9-13-2012

      I appreciated your description of the way globalization occurs from below and above. Your way of describing it makes sense and helps me understand the concept better. I don’t know if I agree with the historians that the religious networks are caused by pilgrimages, but it is an interesting angle to consider. As Prof. Willse mentioned, you have to consider the source when reading.

    • emyers
      10:45 am - 9-14-2012

      You’re description was short and sweet! Really helped me understand some key ideas like the above and below globalization and also pointing out the four different categories globalization can be placed in. I think the space-time compression idea is really interesting, I wonder if we went back to the time when there was no technology they would look at this as some sort of time travel. It’s so awesome how we are able to connect with people across the globe instantly.

  16. rgomez5
    11:57 am - 9-12-2012

    In the book globalization is compared to other to other complex processes the world experienced before, such as industrialization. The authors describe globalization process in two main forms: first as a process of exchanges, free trade and capital flow mostly controlled by powerful corporations and multinational companies. On the other hand, there is a network of people interacting and exchanging ideas in a world with no frontiers, the new fast technologies available today allow people to interact in real time with different agents in the economic and political life, networks eliminate existing boundaries. It is important to distinguish that not everything liked can follow this principle, reciprocal voluntary exchanges of goods and ideas would be an example of global network. On the other hand the author uses the example of coerced interactions such as slave trade or other forced exchanges imposed to people from authoritarian governments or colonial powers. At some point globalization became politicized, and as a result of the world wars the world experienced and age of “deglobalization” that ended with the collapse of the Communist bloc.
    An interesting example of interactions would be the larger immigration flow from Europe to the US, countries such as Ireland experienced large emigration flows to the US that definitely changed both countries cultures. Some other interactions were forced, as we saw with Europeans settlers in the Americas, they enforced their customs and way of living into the weaker and less advanced Native American societies. The industrial revolution allowed even stronger exchange, new goods were produced, guns, mass production of cotton, larger steam powered ships were capable of transporting goods from the west to virtually everywhere in the world faster. This exchange made possible for many people in distant lands to have access to products that they have never seen before, and create new necessities for products such as industrialized guns.

  17. ngibson3
    12:36 pm - 9-12-2012

    Globalization is the word often used to describe the era in which we live in. The authors Osterhammel and Petersson give many descriptions of what other historians believe globalization to be. Using this platform they sculpt the most plausible definition, with an emphasis on describing globalization as unbiased as possible, because they criticize many of their colleagues for putting their opinions on the outcomes of globalization within their definitions. Globalization is a multi-faceted word that is supposed to link a variety of people’s experiences, some of which are that “The world is becoming noticeably smaller as distant lands are being linked ever more closely together. At the same time, the world is becoming “larger” because our horizons have never been so broad. The authors make sure to note that globalization isn’t and equal deal, it effects people to varying degrees and that there is a general consensus among people who study globalization that “globalization challenges the importance of the nation-state and alters the balance of power between states and markets in favor or of the latter”. Within globalization there is an element of the expansion, concentration, and acceleration of world relations; mainly categorized into but not limited to globalizations influence in economics, politics, militarily and culturally.
    The authors make an emphasis on analyzing the history of the world from both above and from bellow. They will do this by focusing their study of globalization on the interactions between individuals and groups. A network as opposed to an interaction requires a degree of longevity and institutional reinforcement, and creates a flexible means of social organization. Interaction networks very seldom spread evenly throughout the world, instead they spread in spheres of influence. Networks differ from each other in their durability and the frequency of interaction with in them.
    An example from chapter 3 was the Mongolian invasion of the known world. In the “Pax Mongolica” there was a new found of movement and trade in Eurasia. This opened up these areas to new ideas. There was definitely a new more complete network set up under this one entity. An example from chapter 4 was the spread of the industrial revolution from the first country to sounding countries, and then across oceans. This spreading was mainly caused because in order to industrialize you need natural resources from somewhere, and the ideas of industrialization would then spread to the place you were getting resources from. Within these industrial revolutions new networks were set up, such as by cotton being grown in the southern U.S., then shipped off and refined in Brittan, ten sent back and sold in the U.S.

    • oliviab
      3:08 pm - 9-14-2012

      I like that you pointed out how the authors explain that globalization effects people in different ways and to different degrees, it’s not an “equal deal” as you wrote. I think that this is something very interesting to think about, and something that I personally probably would have looked over for the most part. Obviously nations like the U.S. and England, etc., the more powerful nation states, are going to see a higher rate of a “globalized culture” than an area or country that is more set apart from the modern world, such as Bolivia or a tribe deep in Africa. I don’t really remember if this was discussed further in the first 4 chapters of this book, or if it will be discussed later on, but it makes me wonder if nations that are more set apart, ones that are already a little bit (or a lot) more “behind” will have less of a chance of catching up with this rest of the modern world. And how this may continue to effect their economies, etc.

  18. oliviab
    12:39 pm - 9-12-2012

    Osterhammel and Petersson make it very clear that the term “globalization” must be well-defined to prevent it from just becoming another every-day word. They strongly emphasize its significance and describe different meanings throughout the first two chapters. There are some parts that stood out to me more than others, though. On page 3, they write that the world is becoming smaller and larger at the same time. It is becoming smaller because nearly everything is interconnected, but at the same time, it’s becoming larger as we make new discoveries and continuously expand our knowledge and potential. The authors also examine several different takes on globalization. On pages 6 and 10, the authors lay out different opinions that people generally have about globalization. Some view it as a “new era of growth” (positive opinion) and others see it as big businesses from the West gaining too much power/control over less-wealthy countries, abusing labor rights, and harming the ecological systems (negative opinion). Further into the first chapter, they discuss the difference between skeptics and opponents of globalization. Skeptics can see “globalization” as a “cover-up” or an excuse for individual countries to take more control, whereas opponents of globalization still believe that there is/has been an actual change in the modern world.

    In chapter 3, the authors lay out factors that point to globalization up to the year 1750. They discuss the spread of certain religions, mass migration and, the one that sticks out to me most, long-distance trade. Trading between regions of the world began early on, and in my opinion, this could arguably be a huge first step to becoming a “globalized world.” Later on in chapter 3, the authors mention how tea, something that is such a prominent part of British culture now, only got to England because of trading. There are so many other products that are now global goods that were not before the days or trading and exploration. In chapter 4, the years 1750 to 1880 are studied. This time-span was full of innovation (the Industrial Revolution), nations taking control of surrounding areas/expanding, etc. I had always assumed that the Industrial Revolution played a large part in steps toward a globalized world. But one point that the authors made that I found interesting was that the mass production of weapons increased the prices, causing there to be a clear split between nations that could afford certain weapon or brands, and nations that could not. From a big picture point of view, this is something that could have stopped or slowed globalization in some regards, which is why the authors seem to play down the Industrial Revolution more than I would have originally thought to.

    • btaborga
      8:22 pm - 9-12-2012

      I definitely agree with the authors and you that large corporations have taken advantage of globalization by finding cheap ways to manufacture their products in third world nations for cheap. I wanted to also add that this is a positive thing too! Many of these third world countries that manufacture cheap goods, have benefited from large corporations because they have introduced hob opportunities in places where there are no jobs at all. They also provide their workers (usually) with daily meals, recreation, parks, and living complexes. So, corporations have also been a positive part og globalization seen in third world nations.

      • oliviab
        3:00 pm - 9-14-2012

        I agree that in some cases, “big businesses” producing in 3rd world countries can have some positive effects too.. that it’s not all negative. I just read over your initial post, and I like how you explained both sides. Very clear and well grounded.

  19. njelvani
    12:58 pm - 9-12-2012

    The terms globalization and glocalization, as referenced by Osterhammel and Petersson are terms that explain today’s world. They call upon an urgency of now, especially with an emphasis on the need for a universal awareness of surrounding cultures, networks and institutions. “They consent the essence of “globalization” lies as the world shrinks while expanding in its integration” (3). However, there is a difference of opinion in their perceptions on the values placed on quantities and qualities that fluctuate in universal markets. What is new about globalization, presently, according to Osterhammel and Petersson is the stratagem or leitmotiv that people use to communicate their wants and needs and how they utilize the tools of communication technology to enhance their standards of living. “This integrating human development is encompassed within networks, and its interaction spheres that form them. Interactions are described as “intertwining threads” that form communication between individuals and groups, withholding they have acquired “a certain degree of longevity and institutional reinforcement” (22). By recording and observing past trends and patterns of territories that have been divided and conquered, people have found more ease in predicting future trends and patterns concerned with mass populations and/or minority groups. As historians, they want to try and rank “globalization” as a major historical process that took a long time to develop (and is developing), boundless in its intensity, and is “a force of change seldom found in earlier, premodern history” (4). It would serve as a refuge for every known global human integration (5).However, the shift that is being observed is being mentioned as a consequence of Confusionism, which is being overridden by the progression of computer technology. “Computer technology has made it possible for the first time to organize flexible social relation independent of territories.” As awareness of the skills needed to utilize computer technology and the availability of the most advanced technology systems become more available to the mass these the virtual world will be calling on a continuation. Like a caterpillar, into a butterfly…developed.
    -Nadia Jelvani

  20. rafae309
    1:00 pm - 9-12-2012

    The authors Osterhammel and Peterson depict “globalization” in a number of different ways. Although definitions can be vague, they agree that globalization has been a set of processes, ever evolving and vast in nature, involving people from multiple cultures, religions and languages and linking them together through interactions and networks. It is also explained as “a wide spectrum of experiences shared by many people.” They say the world is steadily becoming smaller and smaller, shrinking as the different corners and distant lands are being linked closer because of technology, networks and interactions. However, at the same time, they argue that the world is becoming larger since our horizons keep becoming broader. I also agree when globalization was described as a macro-process of continued integration of a global economy. When the authors explain networks in the book, they state that networks feature innumerable intertwined “threads” linking each individual business operation with millions of other businesses. Manuel Castells notes that a network requires a certain degree of longevity and institutional reinforcement, but more importantly they are a flexible form of social organization. With the emergence of new information technology, networks can now remain stable and function as fundamental structures for economics and politics. According to John Burton, they also include telephone phone conversations, travelling, business transactions, and the movement of goods without borders.
    In Chapter 3, another innovation appeared around the 1500 with global consequences was the printing press. Literature quickly spread in China, reports were quickly and broadly publicized in Europe, and means of communications and information increased. The birth of the printing press now enabled the masses to be more involved. In chapter 4, there are multiple examples of inventions which gave a boost to globalization. During the Industrial Revolution, the steam engine was invented, which contributed numerous breakthroughs in travelling, transportation and trade, increasing interactions between different nations and setting up stable networks between them, shrinking the world and bringing countries together. Transatlantic steamship travel became more common and steamships even began appearing in non-Western countries like Euphrates in 1835 and Shanghai in 1850. The invention of the steam engine and steam ship opened up more networks like the Suez Canal, which halved the time it took to travel from London to Bombay. Trade expanded, networks were set up and interactions increased dramatically as major freight routes had been set up by the end of this period.

    • hakunanahtata
      1:10 pm - 9-19-2012

      I like the way you summed up the authors depicting of globalization it is a difficult task to do. Its interesting how the conceptualization of the world gets smaller and bigger simultaniously. The influence of technology has increased the speediness of globalization and the effects of it are going to increase in turn. A current example is the war within Syria and how it is in the news all the time and the autrocities are posted on youtube and other media sites. 30 years ago there were about 30,000 people killed in holms, Syria under al-Assads father. The masacre against the uprising was not stopped and was virtually unknown because of the lack of speedy technology and communication at the time.

  21. hakunanahtata
    1:03 pm - 9-12-2012

    The authors depict globalization as a word that means more than just a description of out time period now. Globalization is compared to industrialization and many other “izations.” Described as a combination of them in relevance to people, states and civilizations occurring over a long period of time, taking many forms and intensifying through out the world. The difference between globalization and izations is that the latter is only relative within the national and regional frameworks and analyzed through that context. Globalization is feared by some to be the end of the nation state and western homogeneity becoming a reality. The worry about the descent of diversity. The technology available that is “spreading”globalization and homogenizing the world cultures is also being used to heterogenize the world simultaneously by other parties. When cultures come together it is known as hybridity. The speediness of the transfer of information and goods has also effected the world, David Harvey calls it “space-time-compression.” Over the last twenty years the price for communication devices and other technological advances have decreased to the point that it is getting in to the hands of people all over the world who used to not be able to participate. This is breaking down the necessity of location, distance and borders in social relationships. Manuel Castells sees globalization as a network society. The authors stress the different terminology of the word globalization and how it effects perspectives of the world, past and present. When referring to interactions and networks the authors mean the different perspectives of the world. Not every social transaction between two people should be considered a network, a network requires a degree of longevity and institutional reinforcement and do not spread easily. Networks are concentrated into spheres that are determined by the natural environment. Globalization is about the emergence of these spheres around the world and the connections that have developed between them. Some of these interactions of networks are reciprocal and some interactive. An example from the book is the african slave trade, it was part of a tri-continental network even though the slaves only flowed in one direction, rarely returning to Africa. This is a triangular trade. This should the networks and interactions of Africa, Europe, and the new world that are “globalized” with some networks benefitting and others (Africans) being disseminated. Two main concerns about interactions are their range and importance. For example there was a lack of French immigration in the late 1800 and early 1900’s to america, and a large amount of Irish immigration to america at the same time. The trends of “irish Immigrant communities” shaped american politics/economics/culture and the french didn’t. Over time the importance of networks have increased and become wider through interactions. In chapter four they give the example of the industrial revolution in england and its connection with the US especially with mass machinery/technology that increased the speediness of trade and communication. This eventually let to the spread of westernization, the cold war, the dominance of capitalism. Globalization can be seen everyday even though it is not completely understood with the increasing spread of culture, people, and commodities.

    • ender91
      10:52 pm - 9-13-2012

      I think another difference is that globalization has a much more complex definition than other words that end with ization. I never thought about the possibility of diversity decreasing because of globalization before. How does globalization decrease diversity?

      • hakunanahtata
        1:00 pm - 9-19-2012

        People are constantly communicating with each other at a greater and faster scale as history has progressed. Many cultures have been lost because of this. Diversity still exists but we are sharing more and more and becoming more of a hybrid. Some types of people can’t survive with their beliefs in todays world so they must conform. I feel bad saying that there is a decrease in diversity, its more of a change of diversity, a blend rather than being as distinct as they were in the past.

    • njelvani
      11:25 am - 9-19-2012

      I like your comment, it gave me a more narrow perspective on globalization.

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